IMF Offers Technical Assistance for the Growth of the Philippines Crypto Market Author: Ali Raza Last Updated: 08 January 2020 The IMF is currently offering technical assistance to the Philippines for the development of its digital assets industry. The Fund believes the country has the potential of becoming one of the biggest markets for cryptocurrencies. In line with that, it has assisted the Philippines Central Banks to set up a regulatory body. The IMF is also assisting the Philippines to obtain quarterly crypto data from approved cryptocurrency exchanges. In a 34-page report on technical assistance, published by the IMF, the international body drafted a recommendation for the Philippines on the implementation of a regulatory body in crypto assets. The report contains technical advice to the Bank of the Philippines on crypto assets regulation. The IMF in full support of the Philippines on crypto asset management The IMF is also offering assistance to the Philippines Central Bank (BPS) on the improvement of monetary and financial statistics on crypto assets. The assistance also included a lecture on macroeconomic statistics, particularly on the management of crypto assets. The BSP issued a Circular in 2017 to adopt a formal regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The framework outlined the guidelines involved in the exchange of fiat money for cryptocurrencies in the country. It stipulated the registration procedures for businesses that want to engage in the exchange. The Philippines currently has 13 approved crypto exchanges in the country. They include Atomtrans Tech, Bitan Moneytech, Bitan Moneytech, Coinville Phils, Bexpress, Zybi Tech, Fyntegrate, Etranss Remittance International, Virtual Currency Philippines, Bloomsolutions, Remittance, as well as Betur dba Coins.ph. In the IMF report, the international body has encouraged BSP to start collecting data on the exchanges, which would be used for macroeconomic analysis. According to the report, the central bank can use the data on crypto-assets to analyze international financial flows. It also suggested that the Bank requests complied data from the exchanges quarterly. The requested data should include details about gross transactions, indicating the destination of transacted funds and the country of origin. Also, the data would be more useful when there are clear details of the parties involved in the transaction between the nonfinancial corporations, financial corporations, as well as the individual participators. According to the IMF, the data will come in handy for the regulation of the country’s digital assets industry. Suggestion similar to provisions of FATF When suggesting the regulatory standards to the central bank of the Philippines, the IMF made sure the suggestions are in close comparison with the recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF is an international organization that develops policies to counter money laundering. FAFT gave out its guidelines for the operation of virtual service providers based on a risk-basis approach. It obliged entities and urged countries to set up customer due diligence procedures that can meet both national legal requirements and FAFT standards.